Did you know that March is Women's History Month? To celebrate the work of just a few talented female artists, gallerists, collectors and advisors that work in the arts, we've created a Women in Art magazine. If you like this article, follow the link below for more.
Marcelina Amelia is one of our top selling artists on the online marketplace, and a perennial favourite at our fairs, on the stands of Liberty Gallery. We chatted with Marcelina to find out more about her practice, inspiration and her advice for aspiring artists…
MEET THE ARTIST: MARCELINA AMELIA
Can you tell us a bit about your practice and what inspires you as an artist?
I’m a contemporary female artist working with mixed media approaches to print, painting and drawing. I often draw inspirations from my Polish heritage, looking to religious iconography and folk tales, as well as childhood memories, the power of dreams, spirituality, sexuality, and the human condition. I like to call my work “smoothies of reality”.
Feelings are without a doubt my greatest inspiration as an artist! Those unspoken abstract, invisible things that we often try to squash and hide. The complexity of the human condition, the power of the mind, the experience of being human and (most frequently occurring in my work) a female human in the 21st Century.
How would you describe a typical day in the Marcelina Amelia studio?
It starts with coffee and a little tidy. I think tidying the studio is like tidying your mind, in my opinion the space you work in is very important, I like to prepare my painting corner, layout my paints, clean up my brushes. Sometimes I have admin duties which can take the whole day, but I do cherish a painting day. It’s a special day when I try to stay away from my inbox and aim to reach the state of flow, which is rare but when I do it feels amazing.
I would say that 70% of my “production” time goes into thinking / writing / experiencing / researching / mood-boarding / visualising. I think sometimes viewers misjudge my work classifying it as portraiture, when actually the people in my paintings are mostly vessels, they are my vocabulary, I use them to convey complex feelings and stories. Recently most of my works have started with words, sometimes it is a conversation I had with a friend or my Mom, other times they are bits of words that I have found or overheard. Then I pick my colour palette, which can be a long process as I’m very careful about my choices and try to keep my palette limited and consistent. I try to invent a scenery, character and whole mood that would hopefully in some way reflect the feeling I was trying to express.
What is the inspiration behind your “I only want everything” series?
The “I only want everything” series is a journey of self-discovery; questioning the participatory, fast-paced, performative world we live in right now, overloaded with information and ideas of exceptionalism, where it is easier to be lost in the stream than to be your own person. Each painting in this series is representing a different emotional state, an identity crisis. How do we satisfy that craving, when in our essence, we are 99.9% empty space?
Which artist has had the greatest impact on you and why?
It was Austrian painter Egon Schiele; I’ll never forget the moment, when I saw his work for the first time. Without exaggeration it has changed my life.
I must have been 14/15 years old then, already an owner of an extensive collection of self-initiated sketchbooks. Since I was a little girl I have been a compulsive sketcher, but I didn’t think anything of my scribbles until I saw Egon’s work. I felt like I was coming home, and I experienced a transcendent connection with his work. Suddenly everything made sense and I knew I was onto something.
It’s difficult to explain the moment, I think that’s the beauty of art, in his work I saw my thoughts visualised and it was a goose-bumpy thrilling feeling, like a first kiss or falling in love.
As an artist, how and why do you look for gallery representation?
I would say it is important to find a gallery that you can see your work in, and that the gallery aesthetic fit yours and vice versa. I’m very lucky to be a part of the fantastic Liberty Gallery family. Working with them has taught me a lot and has had a big impact on me and my work. It’s a fantastic feeling to be represented by a gallery and by someone who truly believes in your work. Patsy is the nicest and kindest human on earth, so working with her is pure pleasure. I also get on really well with the other artists in the gallery, which makes everything more fun and better!
I think having a gallery representation can open many doors, for example exhibiting at the Affordable Art Fair and meeting the wonderful visitors through being on the Liberty Gallery stand and doing ‘live art’ sessions.
What advice would you give to any aspiring artists reading this interview?
I used to think that having talent was enough, I thought artists were just discovered and validated by someone important, then automatically on their way to stardom. Now I know it doesn’t quite work like that. So, I would say that the key to success is to work, work, work, work and work.
I’m a strong believer in “do it yourself”. Don’t wait for this amazing publishing house to contact you - self publish. Don’t wait for an amazing gallery to offer you a solo show - make your own show and don’t wait for your smaller paintings to sell before you can move onto this big canvas you always dreamed of painting, do it now. Take risks, do it big and invest in yourself. By doing all that I think you gain trust and build your own brand so then people feel more comfortable working with you because they can see that “YOU CAN”.
Thanks, Marcelina! Why not browse Marcelina's work on our online marketplace. Simply follow the link below:
Marcelina Amelia in her studio.
Featured art from first to last:
Marcelina holding her work, Tequila, 2018, limited edition print, edition of 50, 84 cm x 65 cm, signed, Liberty Gallery.
Marcelina Amelia surrounded by her works.
Marcelina Amelia, I Only Want Every Thing, £750, framed, limited edition print of 40, 84 cm x 69 cm, signed, Liberty Gallery.
Marcelina Amelia working on one of her hand finished artworks.
Marcelina Amelia, How to Live, Liberty Gallery.